Creamy flavor-packed, this pesto chicken salad recipe is one of those low carb recipes that enlightens and delights as it wakes your taste buds!
This is one of those low carb salads, that guarantees eaters to raise their eyebrows and yell “Mmmmm!” I absolutely love using pesto in chicken salad recipes — It adds bold robust flavors that are undeniably delicious, along with fragrant aromas that draw you in.
These healthy recipes are fantastic any way you serve them. Put them on a bed of greens, in a wrap, on a sandwich or even in a mason jar.
Let’s get started…
This pesto chicken salad recipe is the totally bold and succulent rendition of chicken salads, and I love everything about it! I love that it gives people an herbalicious option for a healthy flavorful chicken salad.
Here are even more reasons to love it.
- Refreshing and robust
- 17 grams of protein per serving
- Plenty of texture combinations
- 20 minutes to done
- Lots of ways to serve it
In my opinion, making this pesto chicken salad recipe is one of the best ways to enjoy healthy chicken salad. It’s light and lively and just plain delicious!
*Pro Tip: However you make your chicken salad, it’s best to let it sit in the fridge for at least 30 minutes before serving. This gives all the flavors time to mingle and really get acquainted for a smooth cohesive flavor profile.
Chicken – You’ll notice this pesto chicken salad recipe calls for chicken breast. While I prefer using chicken breast for this particular recipe, you may enjoy dark meat too. Fell free to use only white meat, dark meat or a combination of the two.
Greek Yogurt – This recipe calls for Greek yogurt and it does give it a light refreshing flavor. BUT, if you need to save a few carbs you can switch the yogurt out for mayo instead.
Tomatoes – Cherry tomatoes also add a nice burst of sunshine to this recipe. Cutting them in quarters makes them manageable and there’s no chasing them around with your fork! That way you can get just the right amount in every tasty bite!
Pesto – Grab a jar of your favorite! I love Trader Joe’s pesto from the refrigerator section.
Another thing we need to talk about is the sea salt. I add this because the pesto I use for this pesto chicken salad recipe is very lightly salted. If your pesto is more generously salted, you may not need to add any more.
Tools To Make This Healthy Lunch
Making this pesto chicken salad recipe is so super simple and you don’t need any crazy equipment! It only takes a few things from your kitchen cabinets. Here’s the rundown:
- Small and large bowl for mixing
- Spoon or rubber spatula
- Knife for chopping
- Saran wrap or covered container to store for the week’s healthy lunch ideas.
See? Easy Peesy!
Storing your pesto chicken salad recipe is simple. Put it in an airtight container with a secure lid and toss it in the fridge.
Viola! I like to divvy mine up into single-serve portions and put them in mason jars. That way I can just grab them and go on busy days. Plus, I’ve got something prepared if friends happen to drop by.
Can You Freeze This?
Unfortunately, you can’t freeze this pesto chicken salad recipe. The crisp summer veggies and Greek yogurt just don’t freeze well. You can portion up the chicken and freeze it ahead of time if that helps with meal prep.
Meal Prepping Tips
This pesto chicken salad recipe is AWESOME for meal prep! Make a big batch at the beginning of the week, and divide it into portioned out servings for work lunches — Use an airtight container, such as plastic baggies or meal prep containers for this.
If you’re making sandwiches or enjoying it with chips, be sure to store these separately so they don’t get soggy.
Changing your pesto chicken salad recipe is as easy as listening to your taste buds. Here are a few ideas to get you started:
Is This Recipe Low Carb?
Yes, this pesto chicken salad recipe is one of my FAVE low carb chicken recipes (as far as chicken salad is concerned).
I just love serving low carb chicken salad, especially in the summertime for quick and easy low carb lunch ideas. If you’d like to cut even more carbs, consider leaving out some (or all) of the tomatoes and/or onions.
How To Serve This Pesto Chicken Salad?
There are so many different ways to serve this pesto chicken salad recipe, you can just let your imagination run away with you! I’d have to say that making a pesto chicken salad sandwich on low carb almond bread and serving a mason jar salad are two of the more popular options.
Of course, you can always top cucumbers or low carb crackers. You can also make a low carb wrap, or serve it a hundred other tasty ways.
How Can I Make This Healthier?
Stretching to make this pesto chicken salad recipe even healthier can be done with a little creativity and some imagination…
Making avocado chicken salad by substituting the Greek yogurt for avocados is a dairy-free and healthy option. Avocado is one of nature’s superfoods and it makes such a rich and creamy chicken salad, you won’t miss the yogurt!
You can also take things up a few healthy notches by preparing your own chicken (instead of buying precooked/preservative laden chicken from the store). I love using leftover bbq chicken in this recipe for a grilled chicken salad, that’s got a hint of smoky deliciousness.
What Are The Other Salad Dressings?
There are literally hundreds of ways to make salad dressing. If pesto isn’t your jam, perhaps you’d enjoy a BBQ chicken salad or a honey mustard chicken salad? Simply swap the pesto for either dressing and taste test until you get the ratios to your liking!
How Can I Make This A Creamy Chicken Salad?
Everyone likes a different amount of cream in their chicken salad. If you’d like to take it up a notch with your Greek yogurt chicken salad, simply mix in more dressing, or leave out some of the chicken! As I said, this recipe is suuuper easy to custimze!
Pesto Chicken Salad
- 1/4 Cup Greek Yogurt
- 3/4 Cup Pesto
- 1 Teaspoon Sea Salt (depending on how much salt is in your pesto! Mine is very lightly salted so I added this in)
- 3 Cups Chicken Breast chopped
- 1/2 Cup Celery finely chopped
- 1/4 Cup Red Onion finely chopped
- 1/2 Cup Pine Nuts
- 1/2 Cup Cherry Tomatoes Quartered
- In a small bowl, combine the dressing ingredients.
- In a large bowl, combine the salad ingredients.
- Pour the dressing over the salad, and stir to combine.
- Place in the fridge for at least 30 minutes so the flavors combine, and enjoy!
Making chicken salad is an awesome way to enjoy a myriad of healthy chicken recipes without wrecking your low carb diet plan. They’re protein packed and typically pretty easy to throw together!
Looking for more healthy chicken recipes?! Test out some of these bad boys…
- Southwest Chicken Salad
- Canned Chicken Salad
- Chicken Caesar Salad
- Chinese Chicken Salad
- Mexican Chicken Salad
This creamy pesto chicken salad recipe has a deep robust flavor that far exceeds expectations. Its light aromatic freshness satisfies without weighing you down for the rest of the day.
It comes together quickly without any crazy kitchen gadgets and you can enjoy it hundreds of different ways. The hardest part is waiting to eat after you’ve put it together and set it in the fridge.
Let me know what you think of this salad in the comments below, enjoyyy!